Hidden in Plain Sight is a new series in which we take a new look at an established restaurant. In our lust for newness and our obsession with "bests," the fantastic unsung places that make up the bulk of our city's dining sometimes get overlooked. Here we aim to acknowledge, examine and (often) celebrate those places.
The Cuban sandwich is one of those food items that inspires great controversy. If it isn't quite "authentic," can it even be considered a success? What exactly makes it authentic? Can you add salami? Lettuce? Tomato? (The standard answers are no, no and no, but try telling that to the residents of Tampa, FL.)
At Moore's Delicatessen, which sits across from City Hall in downtown Burbank, the Cuban isn't as authentic as they come -- but it sure is delicious. Served with pulled pork, sliced ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, spicy brown mustard and mayo pressed on an Italian roll, the sandwich is a sloppy, crispy, tangy ode to pork. While much credit must be given to that special alchemy of pickles, mustard, cheese and two kinds of pig inherent in a Cuban, the real differentiator here is the quality of the pulled pork. Exceedingly juicy and flavorful, it takes the sandwich to another level of awesome.
Moore's opened in October of 2010 and is owned by
Christine Moore, who also owns Little Flower Candy Company in Pasadena Robert Moore. The deli is one of those places that has many uses -- it serves breakfast and lunch, and craft beer in the afternoons. On Thursday and Friday it's open until 9.
Regular cold deli sandwiches, while not quite as thrilling as the hot meats (try the house-roasted beef brisket), also hit the spot. The Italian, with ham, salami, mortadella and Provolone, comes on an Italian roll with romaine, red onion, tomato and oil and vinegar. It reminded me of the sandwiches you can get at any bodega/deli on any corner in New York, and which I have missed desperately since leaving that city.
Throughout the day, you'll hear tables full of industry folks discussing the biz over egg salad sandwiches and Cobb salads. The back room is adorned with original drawings from the animators at the nearby studios -- your kids will be thrilled.
[Correction, 9/24/13 10 a.m.]: This post originally misstated the ownership of Moore's -- Christine Moore is no longer involved with the restaurant due to divorce.